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Hardware

The DS2411+ is powered by a 1.80GHz Intel Atom D525 Pineview (45nm) processor. Although this is a dual-core chip, it supports four threads through HyperThreading. The processor is passively cooled using a small aluminum heatsink that looks much like something you would find on a southbridge motherboard chip.

Rather than soldering the memory chips directly to the PCB, as was the case with earlier Synology NAS devices, the DS2411+ features a pair of SO-DIMM slots. One of these slots comes preloaded with 1GB of DDR2-800 memory.

The other slot -- found on the back side of the motherboard -- is easily accessible by removing the left side case door. Synology sells 1GB and 2GB modules for the DS2411+ and with 2GB priced at just $25, it might be a worthwhile upgrade.

The PCB also features two Intel 82574L network controllers that have been utilized by a number of recent Synology products. The Intel 82574L controllers provide the DS2411+ with dual gigabit LAN using the PCI Express 1.1 x1 (2.5GT/s) interface. These tiny 9x9mm controllers have a 90nm fabrication and a maximum TDP of just 0.727 watts.

Accompanying the Intel Atom D525 processor is Intel's ICH9 southbridge. Released in May 2007, the ICH9 launched with the P35 (Bearlake) chipset, and it was the first Intel desktop chipset to remove PATA support entirely. There are numerous versions of the ICH9 and the Synology DS2411+ uses the 82801IR I/O controller, otherwise known as the ICH9R. This high-end version of the chip supports AHCI and RAID.

Although the ICH9R supports six SATA ports, the DS2411+ doesn't use them. Instead, Synology has opted for three Marvell 88SX7042 controllers that utilize the PCI Express bus and provide four SATA 3Gb/s ports each. There's also a fourth 88SX7042 controller used to connect the DS2411+ with the DX1211 expansion enclosure.

Although the ICH9R supports a total of 12 USB 2.0 ports, the DS1511+ only provides four, while a fifth is used to connect an internal micro drive. Sitting over the Silicon Image controller is a small PCB that is connected to the mainboard via USB.

This tiny PCB features a USBest UT165-L46 controller that's often featured in thumb drives. The controller is connected to a single Samsung K9F1G08U0C-PCB0 128MB memory chip, which is designed to house the operating system.

It's worth mentioning that Synology has gone with a 100% solid capacitor design, making the DS2411+ a more durable product.

There's one more obvious ingredient: storage drives. The DS2411+ compatibility list is quite broad, supporting a wide range of Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital HDDs -- including 3TB models with the latest firmware.